• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Improved audio level management

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#1
Like many feed providers, I've struggled with inconsistent audio levels from different agencies. https://broadcastify.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204739995-Managing-Audio-Dynamics-and-Leveling talks about using software to compress and level the audio, but I couldn't find anyone who had actually done it when searching the WIKI or forums.

Today Windows updates forced me to take my feed down for a while, and while it was down, I decided to tackle this issue. I found software called Voicemeeter Banana (don't laugh, English isn't their first language) that I installed, and seems to be working perfectly. The web site is at VB-Audio VoiceMeeter Banana.

If you have a chance, listen to the feed at https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/22608 and give me feedback on volume and quality. The software was simple to set up. I'm running a compression of 6.5 and a gate of 4.7 so I get rid of quiet noise, but get a very quick adjustment when audio comes on.

Thanks for any feedback

Dan
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,000
#2
Like many feed providers, I've struggled with inconsistent audio levels from different agencies. https://broadcastify.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204739995-Managing-Audio-Dynamics-and-Leveling talks about using software to compress and level the audio, but I couldn't find anyone who had actually done it when searching the WIKI or forums.

Today Windows updates forced me to take my feed down for a while, and while it was down, I decided to tackle this issue. I found software called Voicemeeter Banana (don't laugh, English isn't their first language) that I installed, and seems to be working perfectly. The web site is at VB-Audio VoiceMeeter Banana.

If you have a chance, listen to the feed at https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/22608 and give me feedback on volume and quality. The software was simple to set up. I'm running a compression of 6.5 and a gate of 4.7 so I get rid of quiet noise, but get a very quick adjustment when audio comes on.

Thanks for any feedback

Dan
The audio is pretty clear and crisp, good intelligibility, better than most.

But you have an AC hum riding on the unmuted signals. Do you have a ground loop isolation transformer between the radio and the sound card? Where are you getting your audio from, speaker or headphone jack? What kind of radio? I suspect a ground loop.

one of these will fix two channels:
https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator

It is also a must for newer scanners because the speaker output is a balanced amplifier that can be damaged by having one side grounded by the sound card.

You might also want to bond your antenna system and radios to the common utility ground at your station This will minimize ground loop and provide safety..

Many of the feeds I have monitored on Broadcastify sound pretty bad because folks don't pay attention to details like you are. Also the instructions about setting up a feed, gloss over the need for an ISOLATOR and when mentioned in footnotes, provide a broken radio shack link.

There are cheap isolators sold on Amazon that use capacitors in a poorly engineered way to provide ground loop isolation, but they are ineffective, add distortion and ruin frequency response. The radio shack isolator Catalog #: 270-0054 uses transformers which is the correct way to go. You can buy similar ones for more money, so I would say, while they are available accept no substitutions.

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Setting_up_your_Broadcasting_Station#Related_Links
 
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Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
3
Location
DeKalb, IL
#3
The audio is pretty clear and crisp, good intelligibility, better than most.

But you have an AC hum riding on the unmuted signals. Do you have a ground loop isolation transformer between the radio and the sound card? Where are you getting your audio from, speaker or headphone jack? What kind of radio? I suspect a ground loop.

one of these will fix two channels:
https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-ground-loop-isolator

It is also a must for newer scanners because the speaker output is a balanced amplifier that can be damaged by having one side grounded by the sound card.

You might also want to bond your antenna system and radios to the common utility ground at your station This will minimize ground loop and provide safety..

Many of the feeds I have monitored on Broadcastify sound pretty bad because folks don't pay attention to details like you are. Also the instructions about setting up a feed, gloss over the need for an ISOLATOR and when mentioned in footnotes, provide a broken radio shack link.

There are cheap isolators sold on Amazon that use capacitors in a poorly engineered way to provide ground loop isolation, but they are ineffective, add distortion and ruin frequency response. The radio shack isolator Catalog #: 270-0054 uses transformers which is the correct way to go. You can buy similar ones for more money, so I would say, while they are available accept no substitutions.

Setting up your Broadcasting Station - The RadioReference Wiki
Thank you for the suggestions. I had not really noticed the hum until you pointed it out. Now that I hear it, I'm kicking myself. I'll get an isolator ordered. As an additional note, I had to turn down the volume quite a bit this morning. The compressor was so efficient that I was getting clipping on louder signals.

Thanks again

Dan
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,000
#4
Thank you for the suggestions. I had not really noticed the hum until you pointed it out. Now that I hear it, I'm kicking myself. I'll get an isolator ordered. As an additional note, I had to turn down the volume quite a bit this morning. The compressor was so efficient that I was getting clipping on louder signals.

Thanks again

Dan
The hum was so clean, my first thought was PL tone, but it is there on the dekey and there is also some higher freq PL tone with carrier, but that is to be expected unless you roll off frequencies below 200 Hz which is normally not required. I would go with the isolator and your tweaks so far sound good.

Broadcastify should really stress the need for the isolator as most receivers need one and should stress audio quality most of the feeds I have tried sound overly compressed and tinny or have buzzes and hums. I would like to see a widget to grade audio feeds so that the producer gets feedback.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
3
Location
DeKalb, IL
#5
The hum was so clean, my first thought was PL tone, but it is there on the dekey and there is also some higher freq PL tone with carrier, but that is to be expected unless you roll off frequencies below 200 Hz which is normally not required. I would go with the isolator and your tweaks so far sound good.

Broadcastify should really stress the need for the isolator as most receivers need one and should stress audio quality most of the feeds I have tried sound overly compressed and tinny or have buzzes and hums. I would like to see a widget to grade audio feeds so that the producer gets feedback.
Have a listen now. I just rolled off everything below 200Hz and seems like the quality is better even without the isolator.
 
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